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Acute Liver Failure

  • Amar Gupta
  • Chad G. Ball
Chapter

Abstract

Acute liver failure (ALF) is characterized by typical biochemical alterations, coagulopathy, encephalopathy, and multi-organ dysfunction. While viral hepatitis is the most common source of ALF worldwide, the majority of cases of ALF in the Western world are secondary to acetaminophen toxicity. Less common causes of ALF include ischemia, Wilson’s disease, Budd-Chiari syndrome, autoimmune hepatitis, and toxic mushroom ingestion. Furthermore, a significant number of ALF cases have no identifiable cause. Management of ALF focuses on supportive measures in an intensive care unit, with few liver-directed therapies available. Currently, liver transplantation remains the only treatment for ALF in patients who do not regain adequate liver function.

Keywords

Liver failure Hepatitis Encephalopathy Multiple organ dysfunction syndrome Liver transplantation 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amar Gupta
    • 1
  • Chad G. Ball
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryFoothills Medical CenterCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Calgary, Foothills Medical CenterCalgaryCanada

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